Serena Williams returns this week to Paris, her second home, as reigning French Open champion and owner of her fourth Italian Open title, a considerable comfort to her after failing to win two previous finals in an uneven start to the 2016 season.
Andy Murray is through to his first final in this old, gilded event and is in excellent shape for the French Open, which starts next Sunday – but he is not altogether sure playing Novak Djokovic on his 29th birthday will do him any favours.
They say nothing lasts for ever in the Eternal City but this was ridiculous.
The benefits of special diets for athletes have been well documented, but Serena Williams may have taken things too far on Wednesday when she decided to sample her pet dog’s dinner.
Normally when a leading player suddenly is missing a coach, candidates move from the shadows to centre stage as if auditioning for a Hollywood movie. But John McEnroe has been unusually quiet this week; perhaps he no longer wants to coach Andy Murray.
Novak Djokovic survived a determined fightback from Andy Murray to claim the Madrid Open title for the second time in his career. The Serb carved out a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory, by turns brilliant and battling, to triumph in two hours and six minutes and move one win ahead of Rafael Nadal as the player with the most Masters Series titles to his name.
Rafael Nadal has had enough. After years of innuendo, he wants the world to know he has never failed a drug test, and on Tuesday he urged the International Tennis Federation to publish all his results to prove it. It declined but said the Spaniard was free to do so himself.
Rafael Nadal has confirmed he is suing the former French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot for alleging he had absented himself from the Tour in 2012 to hide the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
This is a story of the crusader and the diplomat: two men, born within a week of each other, who have shared tennis courts all over the world for nearly two decades and who are now at the summit of their sport, yet some distance apart on one key issue – corruption.
Roger Federer followed the world No1, Novak Djokovic, out of the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday, beaten yet surprisingly upbeat, then revealed he may not play again until the French Open in five weeks’ time, arousing concerns that his injured knee is worse than he is letting on.
Halfway through Novak Djokovic’s first match of this tournament, against Londoner James Ward on Monday afternoon, a fan shouted: “He’s only human, James!” It brought the usual guffaws.
Venus Williams has been through most things in her long and illustrious career but she enjoyed two firsts on Friday as she scraped into the fourth round. First she had to go off when standing at match point when the rain of this lovely British summer poured down; secondly she went deeper in a deciding set than ever before, eventually claiming a 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 victory over the rising young Russian Daria Kasatkina, in a battle that lasted two hours 42 minutes.
The look on John Isner’s face said it all: “Not again.” The American, whose name will forever be etched in Wimbledon history after his 11-hour, five-minute epic with Nicolas Mahut in 2010, a match in which he won the fifth set 70-68, on Sunday found himself embroiled in yet another marathon match here.
The Serbian tennis player Viktor Troicki unleashed a furious tirade at an umpire as the world No27 crashed out of Wimbledon.
Andy Murray will have to wait until Sunday to discover his fourth-round opponent after Nick Kyrgios and Feliciano López’s hugely enjoyable thrash metal encounter was halted for bad light while poised at one set all.
Of the 128 men who set out on their Wimbledon adventure a week ago, maybe a handful genuinely believed they would be in contention for the title on the final weekend. Nick Kyrgios is among them and on Monday he gets to prove he is good enough to get there – against the best player left in the draw, Andy Murray.
In a feisty, emotional display in which her mood was often as dark as the skies above, Serena Williams had to dig deep to come back from a set down to defeat her compatriot Christina McHale.
The former US No1 tennis player James Blake was wrestled to the ground and handcuffed in New York as he was preparing to attend the US Open on Wednesday.
The calendar insists the end is near for Venus Williams, but the results continue to dissent. The 36-year-old American – the oldest woman in the top 200 and the oldest in the draw here – overcame a game challenge from Maria Sakkari in an entertaining second-round tilt on Thursday to book a meeting with Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in the round of 32.
On another sunny Monday afternoon in Monaco the bluntly-named Beefbar tinkles with the clink of glasses and cutlery as the well-fed ladies and gentlemen of Monte Carlo settle in for a long lunch.
If CiCi Bellis’ charmed US Open run suggested a player ready to compete at the tour level, then Friday night’s one-sided defeat to the world’s second-best player showed just how far the teenager from Silicon Valley has to go.
It’s been two years since a 15-year-old unknown named Catherine Cartan ‘CiCi’ Bellis stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova to become the youngest girl in nearly two decades to make it past the first round at the US Open.